Ryder Cup Aces: How Many Holes-in-One Have Been Made?

The history of the Ryder Cup dates to 1927, and in that time there have only been six holes-in-one made during the match-play competition. The first Ryder Cup ace was in 1973, the most-recent in 2006. And only one of the six was by a golfer from Team USA.

Who made the first Ryder Cup hole-in-one? Peter Butler for Team Great Britain & Ireland in the 1973 Ryder Cup. It happened during a foursomes match on the second day. Butler and partner Brian Barnes were playing Team USA's Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf. Butler was a last-minute replacement in the match for Bernard Gallacher, originally scheduled to be Barnes' partner. But Gallacher awoke that morning with a stomach bug.

The Americans were dormie, 3-up with three holes play, when the match reached the 188-yard, par-3, 16th hole at Muirfield in Scotland. Butler's 3-iron hit just left of the green but kicked just right, bouncing onto the green and rolling into the cup.

Butler/Barnes then won the 17th hole when Butler sank a 17-foot putt, making the score 1-down with one hole to go. But Butler's heroics weren't enough, in the end, to force a halve. The teams split the 18th hole, making the final score Nicklaus/Weiskopf by 1-up.

It was Butler's seventh career ace, and at the end of the round he was presented with a case of champagne.

The List: Holes-in-One in the Ryder Cup

  • Peter Butler, GB&I, 1973: 16th hole at Muirfield during Day 2 foursomes match. Butler/Brian Barnes lost to Jack Nicklaus/Tom Weiskopf, 1-down.
  • Nick Faldo, Europe, 1993: 14th hole at The Belfry during Day 3 singles match. Faldo halved with Paul Azinger.
  • Costantino Rocca, Europe, 1995: 6th hole at Oak Hill during Day 2 foursomes. Rocca/Sam Torrance defeated Davis Love III/Jeff Maggert, 6 and 5.
  • Howard Clark, Europe, 1995: 11th hole at Oak Hill during Day 3 singles. Clark defeated Peter Jacobsen, 1-up.
  • Paul Casey, Europe, 2006: 14th hole at The K Club during Day 2 foursomes. Casey/David Howell defeated Stewart Cink/Zach Johnson, 5 and 4.
  • Scott Verplank, United States, 2006: 14th hole at The K Club during Day 3 singles. Verplank defeated Padraig Harrington, 4 and 3.
It took from 1927 to 1973 before the first Ryder Cup ace happened, then another 20 years, to 1993, for the second. There were two holes-in-one during both the 1995 Ryder Cup and 2006 Ryder Cup. There have not yet been any Day 1 aces in the competition.

The first five holes-in-one in the matches were by Team GB&I/Europe golfers. It wasn't until Verplank's 2006 ace that a Team USA golfer scored a Ryder Cup hole-in-one.

Also note that Butler, so far, is the only Ryder Cup acer to lose the match in which the ace happened.

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